|Publication number||US4392760 A|
|Application number||US 06/386,512|
|Publication date||Jul 12, 1983|
|Filing date||Jun 9, 1982|
|Priority date||Mar 2, 1981|
|Publication number||06386512, 386512, US 4392760 A, US 4392760A, US-A-4392760, US4392760 A, US4392760A|
|Inventors||Rudolph E. Futer|
|Original Assignee||Futerized Systems, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (16), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (14), Classifications (4), Legal Events (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 06/239,366, filed Mar. 2, 1981, now abandoned, which was a continuation of application Ser. No. 80,076, filed Sept. 28, 1979, now abandoned.
It is standard state of the art practice to provide a scroll housing around wheel fans to increase the efficiency of the fan in providing directional air flow. See for example, Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 3,060,590, Oct. 30, 1962.
The use of scroll housings around wheel fans was so widely accepted that the identical structure was adopted by applicant and others in the construction of surface flow air conveyors. Some examples of patented surface flow air conveyors using scroll-housed wheel fans follows:
__________________________________________________________________________PATENTS - USAU.S. Pat. No. GRANT DATE: TITLE:__________________________________________________________________________3,131,974 May 5, 1964 AIRLIFT CONVEYING OF SOLID OBJECTS3,180,688 April 27, 1965 AIRLIFT CONVEYING OF SOLIDS3,267,585 August 23, 1966 CHANGING THE TEMPERATURES OF OBJECTS BY GAS JETS3,304,619 Feb. 21, 1967 METHOD & MEANS FOR CHANG- ING THE TEMPERATURE OF GRANULAR MATERIALS BY GAS JETS3,394,463 July 30, 1968 ALTERING THE TEMPERATURE OF GAS CURRENTS3,418,724 Dec. 31, 1968 METHOD & APPARATUS FOR SUBJECTING MATERIAL TO CONDITIONING GAS WITH WHIRLING MOTION3,435,536 April 1, 1969 DISCHARGING PARTICULATE MATERIAL FROM STORAGE MEANS, J. W. TINLEY3,555,693 Jan. 19, 1971 METHOD & APPARATUS FOR TREAT- ING PIECES OF MATERIAL BY MICROWAVE3,586,382 June 22, 1971 TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM3,647,266 March 7, 1972 VELOCITY CONTROL SYSTEM FOR AIR CONVEYORS3,734,567 May 22, 1973 AIR CONVEYOR FOR FLAT THIN ARTICLES3,890,011 June 17, 1975 SUPPLY OBJECTS FROM AN AIR-FILM CONVEYOR RAPIDLY & INTERMITTENTLY TO A MACHINE3,980,024 Sept. 14, 1976 AIR PROPELLED VEHICLE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM4,078,498 March 14, 1978 SINGLE POWER UNIT AIR PROPELLED SYSTEMS__________________________________________________________________________
Open wheel fans are manufactured by Chicago Blower Corporation and recommended for use in ovens, dryers, and kilns or penthouses in panel walls, ceilings or floors. See Bulletin Sqpf-107, August, 1978. Another manufacturer of open wheel fans, which are also known as plug fans is The New York Blower Company. See undated Bulletin 724-R which suggest that the wheel and inlet cone be mounted within the plenum in special applications. Typical applications shown on Page 20 of the Bulletin indicate the advantages of using plug fans in systems in which air is recirculated within a closed plenum enclosure.
None of the prior art systems known to applicant indicate that an unhoused wheel fan could be used in the construction of surface flow air conveyors.
The gist of the present invention is the use of an open wheel fan mounted in the plenum of a surface flow air conveyor.
An object of the present invention is to reduce the cost of constructing surface flow air conveyors through the use of less parts and smaller motors and fans.
A further object of the present invention is to reduce power consumption by using smaller electric motors.
Still another object is to reduce shipping costs by reducing the weight of the conveyor and motor and constructing the unit in a more compact form.
A further object is to reduce the size of the conveyor structure so that the unit can be installed in a smaller space.
Another object is to provide a new configuration for the conveyor system so that the conveyor modules can be mass produced rather than custom made for each installation.
Still another object is to provide a system in which additional power units can be easily added or subtracted as conveyor requirements change.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a surface flow air conveyor constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the conveyor taken generally along line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the conveyor taken generally along line 3--3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a portion of an alternate form of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a cross section of the conveyor shown in FIG. 4 taken along line 5--5.
The surface flow air conveyor of the present invention consists of a sheet metal or plastic elongated conveying surface 1 formed with Coanda-effect directional slit orifices 2 as described in Futer, U.S. Pat. No. 3,980,024, Sept. 14, 1976, which include a series of slit openings 3 and sloping air ramps 4. The conveying surface may be formed with openings of various shapes so long as there are sufficient Coanda-effect directional slit orifices to give a horizontal directional component to the moving air to propel objects along the conveyor.
An elongated plenum 6 is co-extensive and communicates with the conveyor and is formed with a supply-air inlet opening 7. The inlet opening may be provided with an annular ring 8 to smoothly channel supply air through the opening.
A wheel fan 9 such as the airfoil wheel manufactured by Chicago Blower Corporation or the plug fans manufactured by the New York Blower Company is mounted within the plenum adjacent the supply-air inlet opening 7. An electric motor 10 turns the wheel mounted on shaft 11 journaled in bearings 12 mounted in wall 13.
In one form of the invention, fan wheel 9 is mounted in a rectangular plenum 6 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Air flow moves through opening 7 in the direction of arrow 14; changes direction by 90 degrees and is radially propelled from the wheel between the blades 16 in the direction of arrows 17. Note that air is driven "upstream" as well as "downstream" in the plenum.
The preferred form of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 wherein an elongated conveyor module 19 is formed with the same Coanda-effect directional slit orifices as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 in the conveying surface 1'. An elongated plenum 6', having a generally smaller cross section than the plenum illustrated in FIG. 4 communicates with the conveying surface and is formed with a pod opening. The pod opening and pod housing permit supply-air pressurized by the fan to move upstream as well as downstream of the conveyor.
A fan wheel 9' as previously described is mounted on shaft 11' within the pot housing adjacent the air-supply opening 7'. An annular ring 8' may be used in channel in-take air. The pod housing may have various configurations such as square, triangular or curvilinear. The housing shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is simply suggestive of one form the pod housing may take.
The pod housing may be constructed from a single sheet metal member having straight portions 22 and 23 joined by a curved portion 24. The use of a pod housing permits the use of a plenum of smaller cross section; thus reducing the size and weight of the conveyor.
The use of pods also permits the plenums to be mass produced in modular sections. The pod housing, fan wheel and motor are then added to selected plenum modules depending upon the power needs of the conveyor. Thus several pod housings and wheel fans could be added to selected plenums if the conveyor is very long or an unusually high air pressure is required throughout selected portions of the conveyor.
Conventional wisdom taught that scroll housings should be used in connection with wheel fans to obtain maximum outlet pressure. Conventional wisdom also taught that open wheel fans should only be used where space design requirements prevented the mounting of scroll housings outside the plenum. It was found, however, that in surface flow air conveyors, mounting an open wheel fan within the plenum instead of mounting a wheel fan in a scroll housing outside the plenum resulted in an increase in pressure from 1.9 inches of water gauge to 2.4 inches of water gauge in one example test installation. Following this new and surprising and seemingly contradictory result, other surface flow air conveyors have been built with the same surprising increase in air pressure.
An unexpected advantage of finding that a plenum mounted fan wheel was more efficient than an externally mounted fan with a scroll housing was the realization that surface flow air conveyors could now be mass produced in modular sections. As shown in FIG. 1 several modules may be constructed and connected together. Where the conveyor is very long, or the air pressure needs to be boosted, a second conveyor module 19' with another pod housing 21' can be attached to the plenum 6". An additional inlet opening 7" in the pod housing permits air to be drawn in by the fan wheel 9" which is used to pressurize the plenum.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US545013 *||Jun 26, 1895||Aug 20, 1895||And nicetown|
|US2678173 *||Dec 29, 1950||May 11, 1954||Ibm||Tape feed mechanism|
|US3131974 *||May 3, 1961||May 5, 1964||Futer Rudolph E||Air-lift conveying of solid objects|
|US3180688 *||May 22, 1963||Apr 27, 1965||Futer Rudolph E||Air-lift conveying of solids|
|US3266848 *||Apr 1, 1965||Aug 16, 1966||Pitkanen Alan R||Transportation system with conveyor means|
|US3267585 *||Mar 3, 1965||Aug 23, 1966||Futer Rudolph E||Changing the temperatures of objects by gas jets|
|US3394463 *||Sep 19, 1966||Jul 30, 1968||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Altering the temperature of material by gas currents|
|US3418724 *||Oct 11, 1967||Dec 31, 1968||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Method and apparatus for subjecting material to conditioning gas with whirling motion|
|US3435536 *||Apr 19, 1967||Apr 1, 1969||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Discharging particulate material from storage means|
|US3555693 *||Sep 27, 1968||Jan 19, 1971||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Method and apparatus for treating pieces of material by microwaves|
|US3586382 *||Oct 9, 1969||Jun 22, 1971||Pitkanen Alan R||Transportation system|
|US3647266 *||Jan 8, 1971||Mar 7, 1972||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Velocity control system for air conveyors|
|US3734567 *||Jan 25, 1971||May 22, 1973||Bangor Punta Operations Inc||Air conveyor for flat thin articles|
|US3890011 *||Jul 10, 1972||Jun 17, 1975||Futer Rudolph E||Supplying objects from an air-film conveyor rapidly and intermittently to a machine|
|US3980024 *||Nov 18, 1974||Sep 14, 1976||Futer Rudolph E||Air propelled vehicle transportation system|
|US4078498 *||Aug 27, 1976||Mar 14, 1978||Futer Rudolph E||Single power unit air propelled system|
|1||Bulletin 724-R, The New York Blower Co., pps. 2-20-1972.|
|2||Bulletin Sqpf-107 Chicago Blower Corp., pp. 2-3-1978.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4828434 *||Aug 31, 1987||May 9, 1989||Goldco Industries, Inc.||Device, apparatus and method for distribution of fluid and selective movement of articles thereby|
|US4955762 *||Jul 14, 1989||Sep 11, 1990||Raymond Production Systems Corporation||Plenum fan assembly|
|US5037245 *||Mar 2, 1990||Aug 6, 1991||Simplimatic Engineering Company||Article transfer device and method for air conveyors|
|US5129765 *||Sep 9, 1991||Jul 14, 1992||Simplimatic Engineering Company||Air conveyor deck having protuberances|
|US5178196 *||Apr 18, 1991||Jan 12, 1993||Inter-Pac Packaging Corporation||Apparatus for filling and emptying containers|
|US5222840 *||Jun 21, 1991||Jun 29, 1993||The Stolle Corporation||Double plenum air conveyor/accumulator|
|US5478173 *||Jun 24, 1993||Dec 26, 1995||Simplimatic Engineering Company||Damperless controlled speed air conveyor|
|US5517800 *||Jun 21, 1994||May 21, 1996||Brenner; Joseph H.||Conveyor with intermittent fluid supply|
|US5549423 *||Jun 6, 1995||Aug 27, 1996||Simplimatic Engineering Company||Damperless controlled speed air conveyor|
|US5570977 *||Mar 13, 1995||Nov 5, 1996||Goldco Industries, Inc.||Fluid conveyor for articles|
|US7434608 *||Oct 5, 2004||Oct 14, 2008||Denso Corporation||Air-blowing unit|
|US20050072554 *||Oct 5, 2004||Apr 7, 2005||Tomohide Shindo||Air-blowing unit|
|USRE37532||Aug 20, 1998||Jan 29, 2002||Century Simplimatic, Inc.||Damperless controlled speed air conveyor|
|WO1990003932A1 *||Oct 11, 1989||Apr 19, 1990||Raymond Production Systems Corporation||Plenum fan assembly|
|Apr 4, 1983||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FUTERIZED SYSTEMS, INC., 100 BERRY AVE., HAYWARD,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:FUTER, RUDOLPH E.;REEL/FRAME:004110/0817
Effective date: 19830325
|Apr 23, 1985||PS||Patent suit(s) filed|
|May 23, 1986||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIMPLIMATIC ENGINEERING COMPANY, WARDS FERRY ROAD,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:FUTERIZED SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004576/0346
Effective date: 19860509
|Feb 25, 1987||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 12, 1987||REIN||Reinstatement after maintenance fee payment confirmed|
|Sep 29, 1987||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 19870712
|Sep 17, 1990||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|Sep 17, 1990||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 11, 1991||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Apr 11, 1991||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|